Two companies have teamed up to create eco-friendly straws that can be produced on an industrial scale
Two renewable material providers, Stora Enso and startup Sulapac, collaborated to develop renewable and biodegradable straws. Traditional plastics straws and other single-use plastics can end up in the storm water system and pollute waterways. The new eco-friendly straws will be introduced at Slush 2018, a global startup event gathering tech enthusiasts Dec 4 to 5 in Helsinki, Finland.
The straws are based on Sulapac’s biocomposite material comprised of wood and natural binders, and designed to be recycled via industrial composting and biodegrade in marine environments.
“This is an important step for Stora Enso and showcases our long-term commitment to gradually replacing fossil-based materials with renewable solutions. Our collaboration with Sulapac is a great example of what we can achieve through partnership in terms of driving innovation to create sustainable solutions within the bioeconomy,” said Annica Bresky, EVP, consumer board division.
Stora Enso signed a joint development agreement with Sulapac in May 2018 to license its materials and technology. The development of the demo straw is a joint collaboration between Stora Enso and Sulapac.
“Eco-awareness is a strong driver for consumer demand, and our customers want help in replacing non-renewable materials. Different biocomposite solutions, such as renewable caps and closures and straws will be add-ons and a complement to our own consumer board portfolio, bringing additional value to our customers,” said Hannu Kasurinen, SVP head of liquid packaging and carton board.
Sulapac’s material works in existing extrusion lines and the target is to have the straws commercially available in Q2 2019.
“Today, we proudly announce that we are launching a demo for a recyclable, microplastic-free and marine biodegradable straw. This is the world’s most sustainable straw that can be produced on an industrial scale and we have jointly developed it with Stora Enso. Billions of plastic straws are produced and used every week. This straw has the potential to be a true game changer,” said Sulapac’s founder and CEO Suvi Haimi.